If you’ve got a brand new LG G5 in your hand right now, or are expecting one to be nestling in it very soon, then you’ll want to know how to make the most of it. LG’s newest, and certainly most adventurous, smartphone is full of surprises. Some involve hardware, and others have to do with little tricks hidden in the software. If you want to be a G5 master, you’ll need to know the best, so here are some of the coolest G5 tips and tricks.
Related: Read our review of the LG G5
Activate Smart Bulletin
If you’ve graduated to the G5 from the G4 or G3, you may have gotten used to LG’s Smart Bulletin home screen, which was accessible by swiping to the right from the main page. It shows a variety of content, including LG Health data, a music player short cut, your daily schedule, and more. It’s disabled as standard on the G5, but it’s easy to add back in.
- Long press on a blank section of Home screen, then tap Home Screen Settings when the helicopter view appears. From here, scroll down and flick the switch on the Smart Bulletin option.
Bring back the App Drawer
LG removed the application drawer from its Android UI on the G5, but there is a way to get it back right now, though it’s not ideal. Reclaiming the app drawer requires activating LG’s EasyHome feature, which simplifies the interface, adds in a variety of shortcuts on the home screen, and increases the size of the font.
- If you don’t mind all these changes, go to Settings, Display, Home screen, and then the Select Home option. Tap this, and select EasyHome. To disable it again, follow the same instructions and just choose Home instead.
LG may re-introduce the App Drawer using the stock Home screen when it updates the user interface to version 5.0. In that version, the app drawer will appear as a separate option under the same settings menu. At the time of writing, the option wasn’t available, but we’ll update if it appears in the future.
Hide the apps you don’t want to see
If the EasyHome isn’t for you, and folders are still too messy, then you can hide apps from the G5’s home screens completely.
- Go to Settings, Home Screen, and find the Hide Apps option. You’re shown a long list of all the installed apps, and simply check which ones you don’t want to see. The G5 isn’t overflowing with bloatware nonsense, but there will be a few apps that deserve to be hidden.
Show your signature on the Always-on lock screen
Jeff Van Camp/Digital Trends
The LG V10’s secondary screen showed your signature, and the G5 can do the same on its always-on lock screen. To activate it, follow these instructions:
- Go to Settings, Display, Always-on Display, and make sure the switch is on. Then, tap the option and select Set what to show. Tick the Signature option, hit Next, and modify the text to say what you want. Underneath is your choice of font. When you’re happy, tap Save.
LG’s time-saving shortcuts will be of use to many people, and knowing how to set them up is important.
- If you have Smart Bulletin enabled, you’ll find Smart Settings options by scrolling down through the page. Otherwise, tap Settings, General, and find Smart Settings. There are four options, all of which activate apps or features when you’re in a certain place, or when something connects with the phone.
- For example, if you want your music app to open when headphones are plugged in, hit that option, and flick the switch in the top right of the screen. Then tap the App option, and select whichever app you want to auto start, then hit OK.
It’s the same process for the other Smart Settings, and they are all gathered under the same menu option, so they are easy to find.
Activate LG’s Knock Code
The G5 has a speedy fingerprint sensor, but to use it, you have to pick the phone up. A secure alternative is LG’s own Knock Code feature, where a code can be tapped out using four sections of the lock screen. Here’s how to set it up:
- Go to Settings, Display, Lock Screen, and then Select Screen Lock. You’ll be prompted to enter the phone’s PIN (set up when you activated the fingerprint scanner), and see a list of lock screen security methods. Tap Knock Code.
- The first screen gives the option of using Knock Code before the phone powers up entirely, adding an extra layer of security if the phone gets stolen. Choose what you want it to do, and tap Next to see an example of how Knock Code works. Tap Next to set up your code.
Now, when the phone is on the table, there’s no need to pick it up and use the fingerprint sensor to unlock the screen.
Switch on Game Optimization
This setting supposedly tweaks video quality in games to help make the most out of the remaining battery life.
- Go to Settings, General, and find Battery Power Saving. Under this setting, you can turn on the battery percentage meter in the status bar, and find the Game Optimizer mode. Flick the switch, and tap to choose either basic or full optimization. The latter also manages the frame rate.
Add cool 360-degree wallpaper
The G5’s wallpaper options go beyond static or live images to include 360-degree pictures. Once applied, moving your phone around lets you view the entire picture. No, it’s not going to help battery life, but it certainly looks cool.
- Long press on a blank piece of Home screen, tap Home Screen Settings, then Wallpaper, and select Live Wallpapers. From here, tap 360 wallpaper. There are only two images loaded on the G5 from the factory, but it’s easy to add more, provided they’re stored in the Gallery.
The effect is great, but it’s not exclusive to the G5, and Photosphere pictures can be used as wallpaper on most modern Android phones. If you’d prefer to scroll around the image manually, toggle the Gesture scroll switch under this same menu.
That’s it for our G5 tips for now, but more will come after we’ve used the phone and its modules further over the coming weeks, so make sure you check back soon.
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